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Do you track your speed?

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Do you track your speed?

Old 03-29-22, 11:55 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Feel better now?
Triggered?
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Old 03-29-22, 12:04 PM
  #27  
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I track everything I can for every ride.

I try to have an average speed of 20 km/h for every ride.

Sounds slow, but I ride a fatbike.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:07 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Right- the metrics you can measure are what matter. For me, I’d rather see a higher average power over the same route vs average speed, but average power is meaningless in other situations. Outside of Zwift- no group ride is advertised with a predicted W/kg.
Yeah, though I'd argue that, for most people, tracking power and getting stronger is still just a means to an end of getting faster. With that in mind, I'd certainly give up 10-20w if it meant that I was faster over my typical terrain. That could result from a position that's more aero but more constrictive, or it might mean improving w/kg at the expense of losing a some muscle mass and power, etc.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:11 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Yeah, though I'd argue that, for most people, tracking power and getting stronger is still just a means to an end of getting faster. With that in mind, I'd certainly give up 10-20w if it meant that I was faster over my typical terrain. That could result from a position that's more aero but more constrictive, or it might mean improving w/kg at the expense of losing a some muscle mass and power, etc.
Yah. I think most people would as well. Id like to be faster too, but want to do that through fat loss and power gains. If not, Ill live since 99% of my riding is solo anyway.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:12 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I've had some people argue that going down hill should even out the uphill parts but I assert that you never get back going down hill what you put in going up.
You are quite correct. Since you're going much faster when going down the hill, you spend much less time going down the hill. You also generally don't have an even effort over a hilly terrain (working harder going up and lighter going down), so it's more like intervals than doing steady endurance.

I generally lose 1-2 mph average speed on longer, hillier rides compared to shorter, mostly flat ones.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:22 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I've had some people argue that going down hill should even out the uphill parts but I assert that you never get back going down hill what you put in going up.
Yeah, you're right. The easiest way to comprehend it is to consider your flat cruising speed at a given power. Now imagine a hill, one mile up and one mile down, that's just steep enough to slow you down to half of your cruising speed at the same power. Once you get to the top, it's literally impossible to make up that speed on way down, unless you have a teleporter.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:26 PM
  #32  
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I track it, but don't look at it when riding. Average speed isn't part of my screen on my Wahoo. I do consult it on Strava after however. Since I almost always do the same rides, I can track my progress this way.
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Old 03-29-22, 02:04 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
-Runners do have power meters now, have for a few years now. But not used with the same popularity as with bikes.

-Many fondos without timed segments still list a cutoff time, just like footrace events.

-Timed segment fondos, well, they time the uphill segments. Then you still also get a time based cutoff to arrive at the start of each climb.

-Fondos, despite having some group/pack parts, can often breakup on the climbs and then your personal "speed" becomes good to know or track if you're trying to finish under a cutoff or get a PR or get an age group podium or something.

-Speed/time are relevant in fondos and gravel grinder races to plan your nutrition strategy around aid stations. Distance/speed = time to arrive at aid station. Nutrition is time based. Knowing and planning for your speed helps you plan for the time to get there and the needs in-between. Shoot, the roadie pros it matters as expected pack arrival time at feed zones, tracking wind or weather on the route, tracking the breakaway group, etc.... It might not be a "goal" but it's a relevant metric for planning and execution.

-Group rides are groups, but they publish group pace in........speed.

-The times mentioned above are for you to get from one place to another, over a distance. Distance/time = speed

-The runner autopause debate can be summarized with the cyclist one if we think about it in accepted milestones: 400m, 1mi, 5k, 10k, 1/2, full......10mi TT, 25mi TT, time up an important climb, a segment..........the things worth caring about counts all time spent doing the task.

Disclaimer: I run so that I can do duathlon alongside the rare TT race. Not fast, but not slow either. So, it's an easy item to pick on bike riders about.
Your post stated that runners use speed and therefore cyclists should use speed, and the reason they don't is because of "a bunch of other old man yells at cloud Fred nonsense getting angry at science, technology, or having 'goals'" - whatever that means. This makes no sense.

There are good reasons why speed is more of an important factor for running than cycling. For starters, there is no standard distance for a Gran Fondo or pretty much any road/gravel cycling race. Running races are pretty much all standardized distances. So this means you can't compare speed in cycling from one event to the next in the same way you can in running.

Second - running speeds are way more consistent. Obviously there are extremes, but as a runner I know very specific pace numbers that I can train and race at, and how long I can run at those speeds over specific distances. The same is not true for cycling, where my speed can vary by 5mph or more just depending on which way the wind is blowing, or if I'm riding solo vs with a group, etc. There's also bigger variability when it comes to terrain... when running of course I go slower uphill, but I don't really go that much faster downhill, so my average speed is way more consistent. With cycling it's all over the map... 10mph up and 50mph down.
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Old 03-29-22, 02:32 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
There are good reasons why speed is more of an important factor for running than cycling. For starters, there is no standard distance for a Gran Fondo or pretty much any road/gravel cycling race. Running races are pretty much all standardized distances. So this means you can't compare speed in cycling from one event to the next in the same way you can in running.

Second - running speeds are way more consistent. Obviously there are extremes, but as a runner I know very specific pace numbers that I can train and race at, and how long I can run at those speeds over specific distances. The same is not true for cycling, where my speed can vary by 5mph or more just depending on which way the wind is blowing, or if I'm riding solo vs with a group, etc. There's also bigger variability when it comes to terrain... when running of course I go slower uphill, but I don't really go that much faster downhill, so my average speed is way more consistent. With cycling it's all over the map... 10mph up and 50mph down.
I think that, for the most part, people are talking about comparing average speed vs their own previous efforts. Let's face it - people are creatures of habit - they're going to do a lot of rides over very similar terrain, if not the same exact route. Hell, Strava has built a relatively new feature around this very behavior -



I think that people are savvy enough to know that their results on a route with 20' elevation/mile isn't comparable to one with 100'/mile. Likewise, I know that what I do in Minneapolis is way different than what I do in semi-rural VA and I would expect that others understand differences like that, as well. If one controls for perceived effort, route and/or terrain, they could do worse than looking at their average speed trend as a personal benchmark.
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Old 03-29-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I think that, for the most part, people are talking about comparing average speed vs their own previous efforts. Let's face it - people are creatures of habit - they're going to do a lot of rides over very similar terrain, if not the same exact route. Hell, Strava has built a relatively new feature around this very behavior -



I think that people are savvy enough to know that their results on a route with 20' elevation/mile isn't comparable to one with 100'/mile. Likewise, I know that what I do in Minneapolis is way different than what I do in semi-rural VA and I would expect that others understand differences like that, as well. If one controls for perceived effort, route and/or terrain, they could do worse than looking at their average speed trend as a personal benchmark.
I understand and I mentioned the Strava segment tracking earlier in the thread. I guess I was speaking more about using speed as a specific training metric, which is common in running, but not common in cycling.
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Old 03-29-22, 04:33 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I was speaking more about using speed as a specific training metric, which is common in running, but not common in cycling.
On a firm flat surface, running speed in m/s is roughly equal to watts/kg. The exact relationship depends on metabolic efficiency and running economy.
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Old 03-29-22, 04:48 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
On a firm flat surface, running speed in m/s is roughly equal to watts/kg. The exact relationship depends on metabolic efficiency and running economy.
Huh. So an athlete's 400m run time would translate to their 1 minute bike power?

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Old 03-29-22, 04:53 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Triggered?
That's a way to ask what I was asking with even fewer words. 👍
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Old 03-29-22, 05:54 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Huh. So an athlete's 400m run time would translate to their 1 minute bike power?
No. Speed in m/s roughly translates to watts/kg needed to run that speed. It takes roughly X watts/kg to run X m/s. Runners generally know their pace in terms of minutes per mile, or minutes per km. If, instead, they measured their pace in m/s, that would be close to their watts/kg. The exact relationship will depend on their metabolic efficiency and their running economy, but that rule of thumb puts you in the right ballpark.

[Edited to add] It's based on the same rule that lets us "convert" between kilojoules and kilocalories if metabolic efficiency is close to 23.8%, and the rule of thumb that running economy is close to 1 kcal/km/kg. Do the algebra and you'll see.

Last edited by RChung; 03-29-22 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 03-29-22, 06:09 PM
  #40  
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I am a creature of habit, so I ride the same exact routes frequently. Since I started acquiring older bikes, and fixing them up to ride, I have been observing my average speed over a 25.8 mile course, always ridden at the same time of day. I try to go as hard as I can for all of them, consistent with getting back to the car still able to walk. I find it interesting to note the differences. One bike, multiple times, always 18.2-18.4 mph. Another bike, between 18.6 and 18.8. Other bikes are generally slower, especially the older ones.

It's absolutely of no importance. But I enjoy it.
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Old 03-29-22, 06:58 PM
  #41  
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Holy crap! Are some of you even speaking English??? I don't know what some of this stuff even means. What's a fondo? I thought that was the melty cheese thing. I do like Freddie says, I just get on my bike and ride.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I get that people think that average speed is a meaningless metric, but I'd argue that, outside of a race, most metrics are meaningless unless and until we ascribe some personal meaning to them. If someone pushes harder and improves their fitness or efficiency because they're trying to edge up over XX mph, then that's not at all meaningless - quite the opposite. Sure, there are a lot of factors that go in to average speed, and that makes it a horrible yardstick from region to region, person to person and sometimes even from day to day, but that doesn't mean that it can't be useful and motivating to people.
That's really all I'm doing here. I'm chasing that pace solely to make myself better. Nothing more. A 20mph pace won't mean anything to people who don't ride, and it won't impress anybody who does.
Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Yah. I think most people would as well. Id like to be faster too, but want to do that through fat loss and power gains. If not, Ill live since 99% of my riding is solo anyway.
I'm right with you on the weight loss. I won't say how much I weigh more than to admit I'm on the wrong side of 150. I'm sure that, just like my running pace, I would be faster if I lost 10-20 pounds. Especially now, at my age, losing weight would be a much bigger factor (and probably easier to do) than getting stronger.
Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
You are quite correct. Since you're going much faster when going down the hill, you spend much less time going down the hill. You also generally don't have an even effort over a hilly terrain (working harder going up and lighter going down), so it's more like intervals than doing steady endurance.

I generally lose 1-2 mph average speed on longer, hillier rides compared to shorter, mostly flat ones.
And this is exactly why I would like to find a decent route that's relatively flat. I'm sure I could at least break that 18mph pace on flat ground, although I doubt I could do 20mph over 20 miles now.

Just for giggles, last night I looked up my bike time from my last triathlon in Sarasota. Pretty flat terrain so I had that going for me and I still was right at 90 minutes for the 26.2 miles. Some of that was heat, even in January, it was a pretty warm day. And some of it was energy. I'm a very slow swimmer and spent a lot of energy in the swim portion.
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Old 03-30-22, 08:29 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Holy crap! Are some of you even speaking English??? I don't know what some of this stuff even means. What's a fondo?
A Grand Fondo is a recreational organized mass-start bike ride event that has either timing from start to finish, or timed segments along the route. It's like a marathon but for cycling, and there's no standard length so each course varies. Sometimes the roads on the entire route aren't closed to traffic, so the timed segments are limited to specific sections of the route. Others have full closure and timing from start-to-finish, which makes them essentially the same as a regular road race.

There's usually age group and M/F categories for placement, but everyone races together (again, similar to a marathon).

I think your goal of doing 20 miles in an hour is cool. It is a good fitness goal, but also there are aspects of finding a specific route and/or bike setup for this that play into it. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-22, 09:39 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
Holy crap! Are some of you even speaking English???
My English isn't bad for a non-native speaker, and I understood. Perhaps English *is* your native tongue but you're just bad at it? Making fun of others' speech or writing isn't a good look to cultivate especially at a time when attacks on non-natives and ethnic minorities are on the rise, not just in the US but also around the world. It's okay not to understand, or to be unfamiliar with terms, or to be ignorant about a topic -- ignorance is simply the lack of information so everyone is ignorant about something, and that's correctable as one learns. What's uncool is ascribing your ignorance to someone else's knowledge. Asking "what's a fondo?" is better than "Holy crap, are some you even speaking English???"

That said, going from an average speed of 18mph to an average speed of 20mph is more than a 10% increase in speed. Unless you become more efficient at managing the forces that are slowing you down, that will require about a 30% increase in power.
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Old 03-30-22, 01:39 PM
  #44  
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Old 03-30-22, 03:16 PM
  #45  
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I observe it but don't use it for any training or measuring purpose. I use the power meter for that. Its a fun thing to track though. I too tried to do 20 miles in one hour a couple of times for fun. The closest I have ever gotten was 60:06.... 6 seconds!

Its just a number, I have come to the realization that I am getting older and slower so I really should just enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-30-22, 03:26 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09 View Post
Right- the metrics you can measure are what matter. For me, Id rather see a higher average power over the same route vs average speed, but average power is meaningless in other situations. Outside of Zwift- no group ride is advertised with a predicted W/kg.
Actually kinda scary, I'm starting to see posted group rides where w/kg averages are posted.
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Old 03-30-22, 04:58 PM
  #47  
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I used to have the same goal as the OP, and like the OP I was stuck at 18 for a while. It seemed like days I went out just to break 20/20 I went slower than days I was focusing on something else.

Average speed still gets me down sometimes but my training has changed. My rides now have focus and purpose other than miles, and that has led me to get faster.

Ive done solo 20/30 when that wasnt the purpose of the ride. It felt good to see that but it didnt mean much. Didnt hit any stop lights or have cars pull out in front of me, the notorious headwind I have to battle the last 10 miles of every ride wasnt there. Etc.
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Old 03-30-22, 09:51 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
My English isn't bad for a non-native speaker, and I understood. Perhaps English *is* your native tongue but you're just bad at it? Making fun of others' speech or writing isn't a good look to cultivate especially at a time when attacks on non-natives and ethnic minorities are on the rise, not just in the US but also around the world. It's okay not to understand, or to be unfamiliar with terms, or to be ignorant about a topic -- ignorance is simply the lack of information so everyone is ignorant about something, and that's correctable as one learns. What's uncool is ascribing your ignorance to someone else's knowledge. Asking "what's a fondo?" is better than "Holy crap, are some you even speaking English???"

That said, going from an average speed of 18mph to an average speed of 20mph is more than a 10% increase in speed. Unless you become more efficient at managing the forces that are slowing you down, that will require about a 30% increase in power.
As a non-native English speaker, I get that you missed the point of my comment. My comment was self-depricating (making fun of my ignorance) because the guys are using terms beyond what I understand, hence "are you speaking English". They were. They know they were. I know they were. They know I know they were. It was just my sarcastic way of saying they were talking over my head.
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Old 03-31-22, 01:19 AM
  #49  
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I enjoy tracking my speed.
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Old 03-31-22, 04:42 AM
  #50  
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I had that goal also :-)

Try as best as you can to map out 20 ish flat miles with almost no stop lights. Of course it helps a little to go clock wise so at some lights you don't have to stop for the red light.

It took me about a year to hit 20 mph for an 20 miles, then a little bit longer 20mph for 36 miles.
These where pancake flat routes. No way can I avg that pace if I hit a hill. This was with my aero bike with aero wheels. I doubt I could do that now with my gravel bike and aero wheels.


There's no way going up hill for 10 miles, then down hill for 10 miles is as fast as just going 20 miles on the flats.

In hindsight instead of trying to avg 20 mph for 20 miles which is difficult to do ( not fitness wise just finding a road that you can do it on ), there's just enough traffic, bad light timing, wind etc... it's hard to compare one day vs another. I wish I would have bench marked myself against 5 to 10 mile hill. Those at least around me have no lights or traffic. Just a little bit wind effects you at 20 mph, not so much at 5mph going up hill.




only 453 feet ha-ha

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